After what has been seen as one of the most catastrophic cloud computing data loss scenarios ever, T-Mobile Sidekick users have apparently been able to retrieve all of their data. When a botched upgrade left millions of Sidekick owners without precious personal information, it seemed that the lost data was irretrievable. However, just a few days later Microsoft announced that it has been able to restore the data for all but a small minority of Sidekick users.
At first, users were faced with a statement indicating that there was a high likelihood that all of their personal data – which was stored using a cloud computing system – had been destroyed. Users who still had the information stored locally were encouraged to restore their data to the repaired servers. Continue reading
With Windows 7 released this month, many commentators including TechWorld’s John E. Dunn have been reflecting on the events leading up to the release of Microsoft’s latest operating system. After the dire security of XP was followed up by a more secure but less user-friendly OS in the form of Vista, it is expected that a majority of businesses will be switching to Windows 7 as soon as budgets allow.
As such, Windows 7 has a significant amount of ground to cover in order to be seen as a secure and stable platform for business. Whilst Windows 7 offers significant security improvements over XP, including rigidly defined user and admin accounts, it is an amelioration rather than a revolution when compared to Vista’s security architecture. Continue reading
Prior to the release of Windows 7 last week, Microsoft released a record breaking number of security updates in a single patching session on October 13th. The release of 13 security updates at once tops the previous record of 10, released in June 2009. 5 of the 13 updates were aimed exclusively at fixing issues with the new operating system to which some volume customers have had access for 2 months. In total 34 vulnerabilities have been addressed with varying levels of urgency placed on each one.
Andrew Storms, Director of security operations for nCircle Network Security, was quick to comment once the updates were announced. In a typically cryptic fashion Microsoft offered very few details about the updates before the release date and so security experts were forced to speculate about the content of such a gargantuan release. Continue reading
The Microsoft-owned mobile technology provider Danger Inc. has caused massive inconvenience to owners of the T-Mobile branded Sidekick handset. In a recent data loss disaster, all personal data, including calendars, contact information and notes has been completely destroyed. Because Microsoft did not back up any of the data they have been forced to release a statement admitting that most of the lost data is irrecoverable.
Sidekick operates largely using cloud computing whereby much of the user’s information is not stored locally on their own device. This is why the malfunction of Microsoft Danger’s Storage Area Network (SAN) has resulted in such comprehensive and catastrophic data loss. Continue reading
Protecting data has become a priority for businesses irrespective of their domain and scale of operation. Microsoft is formulating a plan to integrate into its products the new data-loss prevention technology. It stated this would allow security managers to keep monitoring sensitive data and thus block unauthorised usage.
While calling the step ‘significant’, Microsoft did not disclose much detail, but stated Exchange and SharePoint will probably be among the first products to comprise this DLP capability.
“Customers look to safeguard their intellectual property, which requires knowledge of identity,” noted, Microsoft’s director of identity and security, JG Chirapurath.
Microsoft points to upcoming editions of Exchange and SharePoint as likely candidates for the effective DLP technology, the next SharePoint version is only to be released in 2010. A new edition of Exchange could come even later. Chirapurath declined to divulge how Microsoft would integrate DLP into the endpoint like through Internet Explorer (IE). He added no decision so far had been taken regarding the technology with Windows 7 or Office.
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